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Thread: entering quilt in fair

  1. #1
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    All of my friends and family said that I should enter my quilt in the fair this year. So I bit the bullet and entered it. I did not win anything. My family stated that was okay at least you did it and it is hanging up.
    My questions is what are they looking at when judging? I entered in the beginners since I have just started back quilting after years plus I am learning new and better ways of doing things. I sew the top on the machine and did the final quilting by hand. So is everyone looking at machine quilting now and not the hand work? :(

  2. #2

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    Good for you for entering! I know that's always a tough decision -- can you part with your quilt for that long!?!?

    I can only answer for my local county fair, but the judges in the past several years have not been quilters and are more versed in clothing and other homemaking topics. We've found that quilters who are using new techniques are receiving lesser awards and odd comments becuase of this. We don't take it to heart becuase we know the judges aren't all-knowing about quilting.

    A good way to find out what judges look for is to ask them. Go to quilt shows and ask the judges exactly what they check for. Many times a quilt is only evaluated for 60 to 90 seconds.

    Two of the big things are even stitching and does your batting go all the way to the edge of the binding.

    If you are part of a Guild, maybe you can invite a certified quilt judge to give a presentation to your group....?

    Hope this helps.....


  3. #3
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Have you posted a picture here yet, we would love to see it. all quilts inspire and we will love yours. :D :D :D :D :D :D

  4. #4

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    It really depends on the judge! Your fair may not have had a "quilt expert" judge. What kind of fair was it? Did they give you any feedback at all? Usually they will make some kind of comment.

    It's also important to enter into the right category - most fairs have MANY options, including categories for people who just do the piecing and then have it sent off to a professional machine quilter.

  5. #5

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    It's just our local county fair. Not a big affair.

    I have a few pix posted on the picture page.....

  6. #6
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Yes, it does depend on the judges, what they are looking for. A "certified" judge looks at the overall quilt - the design, is it pleasing to the eye, does it hang straight and that sort of thing. Then, more closely, is the binding full? Are the stitches straight & if machine done, was the tension correct? Is the quilting even & is there enough quilting? Lots of stuff to look at, and depending on how many quilts in the show, how many judges for the show & do they have scribes (helpers to write down their comments), it's true, they may only have a minute or 2 to make their decision on each quilt. Consider this - if there are 60 quilts in the show & the judges are only alloted 3 hours for judging...that's 3 minutes per quilt :!: :!: :!: They try to be as objective as they can - I'm not sure I could be a judge!!! The good judges do try to give constructive comments and do it in a positive way too.
    Just think of all the people who got to enjoy your quilt because you entered it Chamby! You probably inspired at least ONE to start a quilt when they got home :D

  7. #7
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Been a while since my county fair days, but the entry book used to have the judging criteria. Judges are just giving their own opinions, based on their own experiences and tastes. I give them the same consideration I do for movie or restaurant critics. I consider their views, but ultimately rely on my own preferencees.

    Some of the most beautiful quilts I've seen were not technical wonders. They just called to me in different ways.

    Somewhere I have a batch of those old ribbons waiting to end up on a crazy quilt.

  8. #8
    live2teach's Avatar
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    Good for you or entering. :) I can only speak for my local fair. To be honest, it depends, they judge each item different...seriously and there is no beginner level at our fair, there are just categories. I didn't get a chance to enter anything this year, my family and friends kept after me to put some things in, but time flew by before I realized so I didn't get to enter anything. Congrats on entering your projects, sometimes the items that win, you would think they might not and others that don't win, you might think they should. Sometimes it is hard to "decode" what the judges are really judging. However, there is always next year...:)

  9. #9
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Thanks,
    About parting with my quilt. It was like a child behind. I caught myself telling the lady to make sure she does not lose my quilt and to take care of it. Isn't that funny to care that much about an object.

  10. #10
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    I have not. I will have my daughter in law take a picture of it hanging at the fair and then I will post the picture. Should be posted sometime next week.

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